Monday, October 24, 2011

Well, That Went Fast!

What a blur of a few weeks! We've still been "doing school" but I just haven't even had time to take pictures and blog! My niece was born perfectly healthy and, at 9 days was admitted to the hospital for a fever. After a whirlwind of spinal taps, meningitis threats, and many tears, we found out her brain was mysteriously bleeding. I spent the next two weeks SO incredibly distracted I couldn't bother to blog! 

During this time I figured out a few things: 
1.) Eli is as excited about 2 tot trays as he is 12. 
2.) Nothing is ever going to be good enough so I'm just going to leave well enough alone (for now).
3.) Turner's math curriculum isn't doing it for me. I really like the workbook, but it's just too quick. He's doing just fine but learning to tell time in Kindergarten isn't the same thing as really mastering some basic skills. So, now in addition to Horizons math, we're starting Math U See primer (I think it's too simple for him but I'm going to try it out to make sure we've got our bases covered!). 

4.) I never stop moving, and it's exhausting! 
5.) I think we've got the hang of this home educating thing: even if we are a bit fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants some days! 

I'm off to finish up 10 things at once! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tot Tray Tuesday

Tot Trays 10.03.11 - 10.07.11

This week we're taking advantage of the cooler weather to finally do a Fall theme. We are just barely seeing some changes in our trees so the trays are a little more artificial than I hoped they'd be! All printed materials are from Homeschool Creations' Fall Fun Pack

Leaf shadow matching

Leaf sewing using a blunt end needle (largest gauge), yarn and Dollar Tree leaves.

Clothes pin number match

Acorn color match

Leaf sorting

Color sorting

Letter match

Shape identification and match

Dot-a-dot page

Acorn impressions in play-doh

Fall sensory box

Linked to:

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Waldorf Tradition: Michaelmas

Turner's only school experience so far was this awesome little Waldorf School in Jacksonville, FL. His attendance there was due in part to my hesitance to go with what everyone else was doing (sending their small children to "school."): something about doing that felt wrong since he was just not ready. A few months in to the regular school year a friend was yard sale-ing in the small community between 3rd and the beach and found the school. We set up a tour and quickly realized the Waldorf way was something interesting for early education. 

The love I developed for that school was immediate. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced and our first experience with a school was magical and filled with all sorts of foreign celebrations. The first we ever acquainted ourselves with was Michaelmas, the celebration of Saint Michael. Here is a super simplified version of the story that I loved telling the boys. 

We carried on the tradition this year with some dragon bread. Turner actually remembered parts of the very short story I told. 

We enjoyed the bread with along with some sword and battle axe play! 

D is for Dinosaur!

This week, the boys and I looked at dinosaurs! We visited the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and purchased some really great books at one of the gift shops. I couldn't resist this huge book about dinosaurs! The boys have been reading it since, so, for the letter Dd we learned a little more about DINOSAURS! 

Lucky for us, the Letter of the Week Curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler did dinosaurs too! 
Eli, trying out his grip. 
Turner was very proud of this dot-to-dot page! 

D is for DEACON! 
Eli, rescuing dinosaur eggs and putting them back in their nest. I posted about his tot trays on Tuesday.
Matching dinosaurs up.
Identifying footprints.
Dinosaur bones! Store bought pizza dough, cut in to strips then place small chunks on the ends. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and sugar (mixed)
One highlight of the week was our dinosaur dig! We had some friends over (but I forgot to ask their mommy to use pictures of all the kids) and dug for "fossils" in the back yard. A few days prior, Turner and I made dino foot prints using a mixure of salt, water and flour (which I baked at a low temperature to harden) and then I used some dinosaur skeletons I found at the Dollar Tree. The kids all gave it the obligatory 5-7 minutes worth of activity but it was worth it because they went back today to dig again!

Eli with a discovery. 
I know Turner thought it was cool, but he was pretty engrossed in a "competition" to see if he could find the most.
Putting together a 3-D dinosaur puzzle (Dollar Tree). 

Nothing but frustration for Eli with the puzzle; it was actually quite difficult.
Eventually, Eli was happy to toss the parts in to some play-doh!
And, finally, our Fun Food for the day (inspired by Meet the Dubiens)! In case it's not obvious it's a pterodactyl (cheese), some dinosaur leaves (kale chips), a T-rex (pb&j quesadilla), an exploding volcano (fruit leather, red peppers), and that flailing thing on the bottom is a fossil (veggie sticks). 
We did lots of other things I just didn't have time to take pictures of them. Baby splashing in the toilet, anyone? I did not get the chance to take pictures of was all the reading we did about these incredible creatures, and the really neat dinosaur painting (take any dino from around your house, dip in paint, and "walk" along paper!). It was another great week around here!

Linked to:

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tot Tray Tuesday

Tot Trays 9.26.11 - 9.30.11

For some reason, it was really hard for me to get pictures of the trays this week! Nevertheless, here are a few of the Tot Trays Eli will be working on. Not pictured are the Dd crafts and all the dinosaur craziness that has taken over the house (homemade fossils, anyone?)! 

Dinosaur matching

Dinosaur lacing cards

Duck number matching

D dot-a-dot page from our Letter of the Week curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler

Play-doh mat also from COAH

This worksheet came from here -hey have lots of printables. We're not totally in to the printables yet, but I'm sure they'll be useful soon.

I've seen this idea every where: styrofoam + golf tees + marbles. Great for fine motor skills!

Carry the dino egg on a spoon (one side of the room to the other)

Dinosaur footprint match-up!

Move the baby dinosaur eggs back to the nest

Number identificantion

This is my first link to: 

Head over to check out lots of Montessori inspired blog posts! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Handwriting Helper

Like most boys his age, handwriting just isn't Turner's thing. He doesn't know how to hold a writing utensil and, daily, his grip changes. He's on the verge of getting frustrated, so I decided to do a little asking, also known as "googling." I found a few great tips (like putting a tissue in his hand and having him squeeze it with his pinky and ring finger), but this sock idea stood out! I feel terrible because I have no idea where I found it, but, it's all for a good cause! 

Cut three holes in a sock (something fitting -like a child's sock) and pull that little thumb, pointer and middle finger out. By forcing the pinky and ring finger to stay behind, the child has to grip the pencil in a manner more conducive to writing...instead of the incredibly weird ways Turner was trying to hold the pencil! 

Before this, I had tried using any and every utensil -to no success! I was worried this might make him feel awkward, but he didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, he was pretty excited to wear his cool new "writing glove."

INSTANTLY he gripped the pencil AND had more success tracing! 
I was incredibly surprised at how excited he was! 

Showing off his glove, ninja style!
Head on over to ABC & 123 for more great inspired blogs! 

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Plan, Stan

*Edited to add: We'll be talking about Michaelmas and baking up some dragon bread to "slay!" Here is a simple blog post explaining Michaelmas and how to celebrate.*

Here's what we're up to in school!

Letter of the Week: Dd


Co-op on Tuesday

Horizons Math: Lessons 20-22 We're starting to slow up as the lessons are beginning to introduce new things. They are still quite easy for him, but I don't want to push anything. 

Other Math: numbers 1-20 identification game (Confessions of a Homeschooler), dinosaur measuring using an idea from I Can Teach My Child

Phonics: (Rocket Phonics): We spent very little time on this last week so, hopefully, this week, we'll continue with phonemic awareness! 

Other Phonics: letter bingo, but the player must use the letter sound 

Reading Skills:  Two more sight words from the 1+1+1=1 color by number sight words and also review the previous words. 

Reading: This week we're reading a bunch of library books about dinosaurs! 

Science: Last week we didn't make it to our first  Outdoor Hour Challenge so the goal is to put together the nature journals (really, just some paper stapled together). 

Other: This week is all about dinosaurs! We'll be doing a few things and ending the week with a fossil dig!  


Letter of the Week: Dd and we're all about dinosaurs. We'll see where the week leads us in terms of printables and the like.

I'll post everything he's doing on Tuesday! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week in Review

This week was definitely a lesson in why it's cool to homeschool. It was just a bunch of normal life (ahem, recovering from birthday week) being more important that sitting down to formally school. We still managed to get almost everything done (hey, there's always down time on Saturday and Sunday). The kids had a terrible night where they were up from about 2-5am so we just went out for an hour and a half drive to get donuts. 'Cause who doesn't drive to a different state for donuts? We spent time with Daddy as we know the easy way of life is coming to an end for our household, and just played in the rain. 

The kids were none the wiser that we had an off week because they still learned in lots of different ways. Most importantly to me is they played together as brothers for uninterrupted hours upon uninterrupted hours. Don't worry, they fought like crazy, too.
Turner, caterpillar graphing (from our LOTW curriculum from Confessions of a Homeschooler).
Working on solidifying identification of numbers 1-20.
Eli, identifying numbers 1-10.
Turner working in his Horizons math book. He's completed through lesson 18. (I think he's done with what I had planned through December.) I'm anticipating using the book less and manipulatives more once he's gotten through the easier lessons. Despite it's incredibly lacking "teachers manual" I like the books for it's thorough beginning content. 
Sorting letters Aa, Bb and Cc. He did it quickly and without help and was very proud of that! 
Mr. D eating his breakkie while his big brothers did some work.
My husband's only request was that the kids learn the pledge. My favorite part is when Eli says "...and to the re-pug-a-lix..." Publix is a store in Florida and he called it "Pug-a-lix." I just think it's adorable! 

We welcomed FALL on our calendar! 
Well, can't you see?!? It's an obstacle course...for WORMS! 
Diggin' for bugs between rain storms.
Turner working on his Go For the Code book.

It was another great week!